Tip: To save time, consider buying an iced 1/2 sheet cake already made at your local grocery store or bakery. Ask for the cake frozen and iced in orange with no border. A very cold cake will be easier to decorate. Make colored icing and set aside. Keep the icing at room temperature for easier icing.
To make the icing:
Ready made buttercream icing is easiest to decorate with, and gel paste food coloring can be purchased at your local cake supply or craft store. When using gel paste food coloring, you can make your icing slightly lighter than you want it, it will darken as it sits. You will need:
- 5 cups golden yellow for body (mixed with a tiny bit of brown or copper food color to create a bright butterscotch color)
- 1 cup bright golden yellow for belly and beak
- 1 1/2 cup brown for nest
- 1/2 cup white, optional, for eyes
- 1/2 cup orange or copper for collar, optional
- For Chica's belly and beak: Set aside 1 cup of the golden yellow icing.
- For Chica's body: Using the rest of the golden yellow icing, add brown or copper food coloring to make a nice bright butterscotch Chica color.
- For Chica's nest: Using any leftover yellow and butterscotch color, mix with brown food color
To prepare the cake:
- Start with a cold, fully iced cake and cut cake into the shape of Chica according to template dimensions.
- For Chica's body, lay a 9-10 inch round dinner plate upside down on the bottom half of the cake directly on the icing. Press the shape of the circle into the cake and remove plate.
- For Chica's head, use a smaller round plate, 6-7 inches to press a circle onto your cake, overlapping circles about one inch.
- For Chica's wings, cut a paper plate in half, and press one half onto the cake surface to make a wing shape, as pictured.
- Cut at lines and carefully remove the extra cake pieces. The cake will be easier to decorate if you chill again before continuing to decorate.
To decorate the cake:
- Fill a decorating bag or plastic bag with the golden butterscotch yellow icing and trim the tip straight across.
- Squiggle generously all over the top of the cake and sides.
- Use a damp spatula to smooth the icing, dipping into a mug of warm water frequently, and wiping the excess icing onto a paper plate. It is not necessary to ice the bottom area where Chica's nest will be with golden yellow (until you switch to brown icing).
- Tip: The secret to a nice, smooth cake is to use a LOT of icing and spread with a warm, wet icing spatula to remove the excess. If you get a lumpy spot, add a glob of icing, dip your spatula in hot water and touch up. If you get any blemishes on the cake that you want to smooth, just chill the cake so the icing hardens a little, then tap and smooth with a clean finger. Pick any crumbs out with a toothpick and smooth with a damp spatula or tap flat after chilling.
- Using the same squiggle technique, squiggle brown icing onto the cake top and sides where Chica's nest is.
- Smooth into a thin layer of brown, then press chow mein noodles into the brown icing for a nest. Refrigerate the cake.
- Crush peanut logs for Chica's wings.
- Fill the area where you have pressed in the half-paper plate imprint with the crushed peanut butter logs, pressing firmly onto the icing.
- Use the tip of a paring knife to draw the beak and Chica's curved collar line into the icing.
- Fill a decorating bag or plastic bag with the bright golden yellow icing and trim the tip straight across.
- Use the decorating bag to squiggle icing between the wings to make Chica's belly.
- Create the beak by making an outline of icing dots where you've outlined the beak. Fill in with more dots. Make another, slightly smaller layer, of dots on top of the first layer, repeat layering until you have a small elongated 3-D pyramid of dots to create Chica's beak.
- Use a toothpick to press a thin strip of black licorice, pulled from a licorice wheel, across the beak to make a mouth as pictured.
- To create Chica's collar, press candy corn along the curved line across Chica's neck.
- Accent with rows of dotted orange, copper, yellow, or butterscotch colored icing.
- Press red licorice twists into the top center of the cake to make Chica's crest.
- To create Chica's eyes, the easiest way is to press very large googly eyes directly onto the icing. Remove googly eyes from cake before serving, they could be a choking hazard.
- Alternatively, press a 1 1/2 inch lid onto the icing to make a circle, fill in with white icing, refrigerate until firm and tap flat with a clean dry finger. Add a 3/4 to 1 inch round black (licorice) candy with a small dot of white icing at the center of each black licorice circle.
- Create eyelashes with small, thin strips of black licorice pulled from a licorice wheel.
- Hooray Sproutlets! You have a beautiful Chica cake to celebrate your special day! Refrigerate until serving.